A sport and physical activity project has inspired more than 250 women from Burnley and Padiham to dust off their trainers and get active.

In just a little over five months, the three-year Girls Up and Active programme has managed to change the lives of over 250 women by enabling them to access free or low cost fun, friendly physical activity sessions close to their homes.

The project has been running in Padiham and South-West Burnley since January after The Calico Group received funding of £164,220 from Sport England. The project is being delivered by Burnley Leisure on behalf of the Calico Group.

Women have not only improved their fitness and health, but also their sense of well-being and motivation. They have made friends, lost weight, gained confidence and been inspired to try new things.

Some women have also increased their weekly physical activity levels from zero to exercising three times a week, which is a step closer to the Government recommended guidelines of 30-minute exercise five days a week.

The project runs a number of weekly sessions including Couch to 5k, boxing for beginners, high-intensity Metafit classes, football, rounders, netball, and buggy bootcamp for mums.

Andrea Pilling, Burnley Leisure’s project activator and lead for Girls Up and Active, said: “It is fantastic news that so many women have benefited from this project so far. Together with our partners we’re working hard to continue support women and girls in living a healthy and active lifestyle.

“As part of our commitment, we’ve have launched a weekly Fit and Training Club which runs on Tuesdays at Valley Street Community Centre between 10am and 12pm. We offer women advice and tips on how to make smarter food choices, lead a more active lifestyle and lose weight without dieting.

“I’d like to encourage women to have a look through the Girls Up and Active timetable on our website and join us at the next session.”

The project is being supported by a five-strong team of ambassadors who help promote the list of activities available to women as well as encourage them to take up sport by sharing their personal stories.

Girls Up and Active champions include Team GB hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon, This Girl Can poster girl Joanne Baldwin, Volunteer of the Year Megan Riley and two star mums who overcame postnatal depression by attending buggy bootcamp classes.

For more information about the project and class timetable, visit www.burnleyleisure.co.uk or call Andrea on 01282 477167.

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